Energy, Russian Influence and Democratic Backsliding in Central and Eastern Europe

Expert Forum.

The democratic transitions in Central and Eastern Europe are facing significant challenges. Across the region, Russia is expanding its economic and political influence and using it to undermine democratic standards and values. Using its strong position as a dominant energy supplier to the EU and former Soviet republics, Russia is employing economic incentives and punishment to undermine democratic transitions, counter European integration, and erode commitments to EU policies.

Working with prominent think tanks from Ukraine, Belarus, and Hungary, throughout 2016 and the beginning of 2017, Expert-Grup participated in a thorough research to better understand and spotlight Russia’s negative influence on the energy sector, coordinated by Expert Forum from Romania. This research resulted in a public policy report for the countries in the region with recommendations for both Brussels and Washington DC stakeholders.

Together with Expert Forum and its partners, Expert-Grup presented and discussed this project’s findings and offered policy recommendations to mitigate Russia’s impact in two roundtables in April (Brussels) and May 2017 (Washington DC).

The project research and the roundtables are part of the project Strengthening democratic standards and values which was financed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).